Arms, oil and the Middle East -- they are thought to form the basis for talks between President Nixon and the Shah of iran, which began in Washington on Tuesday (24 July).
Arms, oil and the Middle East -- they are thought to form the basis for talks between President Nixon and the Shah of iran, which began in Washington on Tuesday (24 July). The Shah received a warm welcome from the President at the start of his three-day State visit, and afterwards the two leaders retired to the Oval Office for talks lasting 75-minutes.
The President and the Shah pledged to work together for peace in the Middle East and maintain close consultations as the United States continues its efforts to improve relations with Communist countries. President Nixon said the Shah was a crucial friend in a region of potential threat to world peace. He added: "With responsible leadership we can avoid war and build a new era of peace."
The Shah returned Mr. Nixon's praise and described the President's missions to Peking and Moscow as an inspiration to the world. He said negotiations in good faith could bring excellent results, but added: "We have got to be vigilant. We have got to be firm. We have got to be patient. And we have got to be strong."
Oil and the energy crisis were also expected to play a major role in the discussions. iran is the second largest oil producer in the Persian Gulf, and supplies from there could be critical if other Middle East supplies to the United States should be cut off.
The Shah was also expected to raise the question of military equipment. His country contracted to buy 2,000 million US dollars (GBP 800 million sterling)worth of arms from the United States in the past year. During talks with the President and other Administration officials, the Shah was expected to seek new and more sophisticated weapons, including the costly F-14 Tomcat fighter.